World Coins

Rare 1547 Edward VI pattern shillings highlights Baldwin auction

A rare 1547 silver pattern shilling of Edward VI, one of four in private hands, realized $14,529 U.S. in a May 5 auction in London.

Images courtesy of A.H. Baldwin & Sons, Ltd.

One of four privately held pattern shillings of Edward VI, struck circa 1547, realized £9,600 ($14,529 in U.S. funds), including the 20 percent buyer’s fee, in a London auction May 5. That price was more than three times its high estimate of £3,000.

The coin was sold by A.H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd., and has a provenance dating back to an April 16 to 20, 1901, auction by Sotheby’s. 

According to Baldwin & Sons, it is “one of the most spectacular pieces of engraving art of the time.”

Joe Bispham researched the series, publishing “The Base Silver Shillings of Edward VI” in the British Numismatic Journal in 1985. Bispham suggests that the coin was an early prototype piece for coinage of this denomination and may well have been produced for presentation. 

“This piece was produced at a time when the young boy King’s name was not upon his coinage but still in the name of his father, King Henry VIII, due to the poor debased state the coinage had been left in for the silver and gold denominations,” according to auction firm, citing Bispham’s research. 

Baldwin’s catalog adds: “A fine silver pattern of such intricate engraving detail must have been produced to show that the new King, though of a young age, was powerful and also the new Head of the Church of England.”

The pattern was struck at the Tower Mint in London.

Though the coin displays some “weakness in parts,” the auction firm grades the piece Good Fine. 

More from

1795 'Jefferson' cent: The saw-maker's patterns

Half dimes led off first D. Brent Pogue Collection auction May 19 in New York City

Q. David Bowers immersed in Seated Liberty quarter dollars, putting final touches on new reference

One of two known 2014 American Eagle, Narrow Reeds tenth-ounce gold bullion coins sells for $28,650

2015 March of Dimes Special Silver Set still 'Currently Unavailable' from U.S. Mint

Keep up with all of's news and insights by signing up for our free eNewslettersliking us on Facebook, and following us on Twitter. We're also on Instagram!

Community Comments